ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Tuesday floated the draft ‘Mobile Device Manufacturing Regulations and Authorisation’ to promote local manufacturing of handsets.
The draft regulations — in line with the government’s Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Policy launched on June 2 this year — aims to encourage domestic production of low, medium and high-end smartphones.
Under the new licensing regime, foreign companies will be incentivised for investments in the manufacturing of mobile handsets in Pakistan. All stakeholders can file comments and feedback by Oct 5, 2020.
The PTA has said that this authorisation will come into force from the date of its issuance and would be valid for a period of ten years in Pakistan only. The regulations exclude Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) and Gilgit – Baltistan (GB).
PTA aims for transfer of technology within three years from issuance of authorisation
The draft states that one authorisation allows the manufacturer to go for a specific mobile brand only. A manufacturing plant is allowed to manufacturer mobile device models for a specific brand only and in case of more than one brand belonging to different manufacturers separate manufacturing facility and authorisation is required.
The manufacturer has to obtain ISO 9001 certification within one year from issuance of manufacturing authorisation. The manufacturer will have to ensure transfer of technology of mobile device manufacturing within three years from issuance of authorisation by PTA for the proliferation of technology and skill development within Pakistan.
PTA has highlighted that transfer of technology includes complete transfer of chipset design, set design & fabrication, display screen design & fabrication and associated accessories such as power cables, handsfree etc.
To promote localisation, PTA has made it mandatory for the manufacturer to ensure local packing materials are used and its cost has to be two per cent of total manufactured device. While other local components include chargers, Bluetooth hands free, mother board assembly, plastic body of the mobile set, display screens and battery.
At the same time, all localisation has to be manufactured as per the international standards.
The PTA draft also binds the manufacturer to give a six month advance notice to the regulator to ensure it has complied with all legal obligations including the warranty period of its product, after sales services support etc.
Application fee for the manufacturing licence is $5,000 or equivalent in Pak rupees and the total fee to get the manufacturing authorisation is $50,000 or its equivalent in local currency.
At the same time, any defaulter of PTA cannot apply for any authorisation licence and the shareholders or members of the defaulter company etc. cannot have ownership or be a shareholder in the new company applying for any mobile manufacturing devices.
Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020